Interactions between oligodendrocytes and microglia. A major role for complement and tumour necrosis factor in oligodendrocyte adherence and killing

J P Zajicek, M Wing, N J Scolding, D A Compston

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162 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interactions between rat microglia and oligodendrocytes were examined in vitro in order to characterize the stages of adherence, phagocytosis and cytotoxicity against oligodendrocytes by microglia. Under resting conditions, microglia showed minimal contact with oligodendrocytes and exhibited surface staining of myelin basic protein and myelin debris only; they were not cytotoxic for oligodendrocytes and did not produce tumour necrosis factor (TNF). On activation with either gamma-interferon or lipopolysaccharide and interferon, these cells increased surface binding for myelin basic protein, showed greater contact with living oligodendrocytes and produced TNF in both secreted and cell surface bound forms. Secreted TNF was capable of killing oligodendrocytes but the cell surface bound form did this more efficiently. In the presence of complement, activated microglia showed significant phagocytosis of myelin basic protein which was not obvious in the unactivated cells. These results suggest that activated microglia in the presence of complement are sufficient to kill and phagocytose the oligodendrocyte-myelin complex in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1611-31
Number of pages21
JournalBrain
Volume115 ( Pt 6)
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1992

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Communication
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Macrophages
  • Neuroglia
  • Oligodendroglia
  • Phagocytosis
  • Rats
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha

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